News and Updates

 

2020-21 State Initiatives on Student Homelessness

During the 2020-2021 school year, the Education Leads Home initiative awarded mini-grants to 12 state teams to build the work within their state. The initiative is focused on improving educational and life outcomes for children and youth who experience homelessness. SHC is proud of the progress made to date by state teams.

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Warning Signs: 2019-20 Homelessness FAFSA Data Signals Impact of the Pandemic

Compared to last year, FAFSA numbers are down about 9% for all students, providing cause for concern. Now, recently released FAFSA numbers for unaccompanied homeless youth provide early indications of the impact of the pandemic on the higher education prospects of youth experiencing homelessness. These findings demand attention and action.

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Statewide End-of-Year Assessments and Students Experiencing Homelessness: Thoughtful Action Needed to Ensure Participation and Prevent Setbacks

SchoolHouse Connection recognizes the value of statewide assessments as a tool for parents, communities, schools, and systems of education to gain insights into how well students are being served, including factors that might impact achievement. We recently joined over 40 education and civil rights organizations in signing onto a statement regarding the administration of statewide assessments, and are pleased to see that ED will not consider blanket waivers of the critical civil rights component of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that requires high quality, statewide assessments. While we acknowledge that assessment data for this school year will have an asterisk next to it in the history books, this information is still critical to help us understand what our systems of education need in order to serve all students well.

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SchoolHouse Connection Calls on Congress to Prioritize Urgent Support for Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness in Federal COVID-19 Relief Stimulus

SchoolHouse Connection Calls on Congress to Prioritize Urgent Support for Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness in Federal COVID-19 Relief Stimulus. To date, Congress has not targeted COVID-19 relief funding to the needs of children, youth, and families who are homeless, despite great vulnerability.

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SchoolHouse Connection Strongly Condemns Attempted Insurrection

SchoolHouse Connection strongly condemns yesterday’s violent insurrection and the white supremacy that underlies it. We are deeply concerned about the health of our democracy and the added layers of trauma for children and youth witnessing these events - especially children and youth of color, who are disproportionately suffering from the toll of the pandemic and economic crisis - many of whom are also missing the safety and stability of their schools during distance learning. The fate of our most marginalized children and youth is the fate of this nation.

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More State Policy Victories for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

SchoolHouse Connection convened a broad, inter-agency coalition in Missouri in late 2018, to identify state policy barriers to addressing youth homelessness. Youth experiencing homelessness, service providers, early childhood programs, public schools and other concerned advocates participated in our State Policy Institutes and joined our coalition. Together, we identified the policies in HB 1414 as key areas for reform. We designed the bill language, rallied support statewide, and were successful in having several bills introduced in 2019. This year, Kids Win Missouri took our bills back to the legislature, and moved them to passage with the support of lobbyists and advocates.

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The Pitfalls of HUD’s Point-in-Time Count

On December 20, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released data ahead of its 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part I (AHAR), boasting decreases in family and youth homelessness. This assertion was challenged by providers who work directly with families and youth, including early childhood programs and educators, who see a very different reality. This short article explains why HUD’s data are flawed and misleading, and why other federal data sources provide a more accurate picture of child, youth, and family homelessness.

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